Easy Sugar Cookie Recipes

In my newsletter, Smart Cookies #08, I compared some ingredients in two sugar cookie recipes. One yields a chewy texture and the other crisp.

For chewy cookies, roll dough into balls or drop it by spoonful directly onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Crispier cookies result from actually rolling the dough out and cutting it into various sizes and shapes. You can also achieve this texture by baking at a temperature lower than suggested.

Using less sugar or baking a little longer will make cookies crunchy. Sugar also affects the extent of spreading.

Preparing sugar cookies to celebrate any special occasion requires time and dedication. Using the following sugar cookie recipes, your time will be well spent. Before selecting one, take a couple of minutes to view this short video about baking sugar cookies for the holidays.


Brown-Edge Sugar Cookies 2

These sugar cookies are chewy and rich with buttery flavor. They make perfect base for no bake cookies. In fact, I always use them to prepare rum balls.

Unsalted butter 1 cup or 2 sticks
Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla extract 1 ½ tsps
Egg 1 large
All purpose flour 2 cups
Salt ½ tsp

    brown-edge sugar cookie recipes

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Cream butter, sugar, vanilla together until light in color and fluffy.

  • Add egg and beat well. Then, gently fold in flour and salt.

  • Drop cookie dough by teaspoonful onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

  • Remove cookie sheets from oven and transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 4 dozen cookies. Their flavor and texture remain fresh in air tight containers for up to 10 days.


Brown Sugar Drops 1

These cookies are equally good with or without pecans. Basic ingredients for this sugar cookie recipe are:

Unsalted butter, softened 1 cup or 2 sticks
Packed light brown sugar 1 1/3 cups
Eggs 2 large
Vanilla extract 1 ½ tsps
Sour cream 2/3 cup
All purpose flour 2 ¾ cups
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Chopped pecans, optional 1 cup

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.

  • Cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.

  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until evenly incorporated. Gently fold in half of the flour mixture.

  • Blend in sour cream. Then, stir in the remaining flour mixture and chopped pecans, if used.

  • Drop dough by tablespoonful onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inch apart. Flatten each portion with your greased finger.

  • Bake, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown and the center is barely firm to touch.

  • Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 30 cookies. You can keep them in air tight containers for 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.


Crisp Sugar Cookies 2

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 8 dozen 2-inch crisp, light, and not too sweet cookies. They are perfect for your favorite icing or glaze.

Unsalted butter, softened 1 cup or 2 sticks
Confectioners' sugar, packed lightly 1 1/2 cups
Egg 1 large
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Almond extract 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour 2 1/2 cups
Baking soda 1 tsp
Cream of tartar 1 tsp
Salt ¼ tsp

  • Combine together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set it aside.

  • Cream softened butter and confectioners' sugar together until light in color and fluffy.

  • Add egg and beat until smooth. Then add vanilla and almond extracts.

  • Gradually fold in the flour mixture to form a smooth dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or preferrably overnight. This is one of those rare sugar cookie recipes that take more than one prep sessions, but it is worthy.

  • When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    sugar cookie recipes

  • Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. You may want to put a piece of plastic wrap over the dough while rolling it out because the dough is pretty soft.


  • Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out shapes and transfer them to prepared cookie sheets.

  • Bake them for about 8 minutes or just until they are slightly colored around the edges.

  • Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.


Lemon Drops 2

This sugar cookie recipe creates the most addictive lemony flavor cookies. Either regular or low fat sour cream will do just fine. These lemon drops ship very well, and make perfect gift for long distant relatives or friends.

Unsalted butter, softened ½ cup or 1 stick
Sugar 1 cup
Sour cream - regular or low fat 1 cup
Lemon juice, freshly squeeze ½ cup
Lemon zest, grated 2 tbsps
All purpose flour 2 ¼ cups
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy.

  • Stir in sour cream, lemon juice, and zest.

  • Gently mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until soft and smooth.

  • Drop cookie dough by tablespoonful onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

  • Bake for 18 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove them from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 5 dozen lemon drops. Store them in air tight containers for up to 10 days.


New Mexican Anise Sugar Cookies
Biscochitos
1

This sugar cookie recipe is the most popular at Christmas in New Mexico. Biscochitos are the state cookie. These wonderfully crisp cookies are great with Mexican hot chocolate.

Please note that this recipe calls for vegetable shortening instead of butter. Cookies made with shortening do not spread as much as with butter.

Sugar 1 cup
Aniseed 1 ½ tsps
Vegetable shortening 1 cup
Egg 1 large
Brandy, good quality 3 ½ Tbsps
Water 2 Tbsps
All purpose flour 3 cups
Baking powder 1 ½ tsps
Salt ½ tsp

For Topping, combine 3 tablespoons of sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

  • Toast aniseed in a small saucepan over medium heat for
    3 - 5 minutes until very fragrant. Immediately turn out into a small bowl and allow to cool.

  • Process the cool aniseed with ½ cup sugar until the seed is ground fairly fine.

  • Cream vegetable shortening, the aniseed-sugar mixture, egg, and the remaining ½ cup of sugar until well blended and fluffy.

  • Blend in brandy and water.

  • Gently fold in flour, baking soda, and salt. If the cookie dough is too moist, let it stand for about 5 minutes before proceeding.

  • Divide dough into three portions. Place each portion between two large sheets of wax paper, and roll each portion out to about ¼ inch thick.

  • Refrigerate rolled out dough for 30 minutes, or freeze for about 15 minutes to speed chilling.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    cutters for sugar cookies

  • Working with one portion of dough at a time. Cut out cookies using either your favorite cookie cutters or 2 ½ - 3 inch cutters.

  • Re-roll any dough scraps. Continue cutting out cookies until you finish all the dough.


  • Carefully place the cut out cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

  • Bake one sheet at a time in the upper third of your oven for
    8 - 10 minutes, or until edges are fairly brown.

  • Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 40 cookies. Store them in air tight containers for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.


Sugar Buffs 2

These sugar buffs are light and crunchy with melt-in-your-mouth texture. They do not spread much because of the presence of both cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar.

Unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup or 1 ½ sticks
Confectioners’ sugar ½ cup
vanilla extract 1 ½ tsps
Salt ½ tsp
All purpose flour 1 cup
Cornstarch ½ cup

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Cream butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla together until light in color and fluffy.

  • Gently fold in cornstarch and flour until well incorporated.

  • Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

  • Bake cookies for 25 minutes or until they are light golden brown.

  • Remove from oven, allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 20 sugar buffs and can easily be double. Store these sugar cookies in air tight containers for up to 1 week.


Traditional Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe needs no introduction. It is straightforward, plain and simple. Yet, its taste and texture are undoubtedly so pleasing.

Granulated sugar ½ cup
Brown sugar ½ cup
Unsalted butter, soften ½ cup or 1 stick
Vegetable shortening ½ cup
Egg 1 large
Vanilla extract 2 tsps
All purpose flour 2 cups
Cream of tartar 1 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt ½ tsp
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Cream butter, vegetable shortening, and sugar together until light in color and fluffy.

  • Mix in egg and vanilla. Then gently fold in flour, cream
    of tartar, and baking soda until just combined. Chill cookie dough until firm.

  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and press with a glass bottom covered with saran wrap and dipped in granulated sugar.

  • Bake cookies for approximately 12 minutes or until just golden brown.

  • Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 2 - 3 dozens sugar cookies. Store them in air tight containers for up to 1 week.


Unforgettable Snickerdoodles 1

These remarkable sugar cookies have a wonderful combination of texture - crispy at the edge, crispy-chewy near the middle, and soft and chewy in the center.

Unsalted butter, softened 1 cup or 2 sticks
Sugar 1 ½ cups
Light corn syrup 1 ½ Tbsps
Eggs 2 large
Vanilla extract 2 ½ tsps
All purpose flour 2 2/3 cups
Cream of tartar 2tsps
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt ½ tsp

For topping, combine ¼ cup granulated sugar with 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon.

    cooling rack for sugar cookies

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and set aside.


  • Cream butter with sugar and light corn syrup until light and fluffy.

  • Mix in eggs and vanilla until well blended and smooth.

  • Gently and gradually fold in the flour mixture until evenly incorporated. Let cookie dough rest for about 10 minutes, or until firm up slightly.

  • Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls, roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar. Place balls on baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Slightly press down on top of each balls.

  • Bake for 8 - 12 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

This sugar cookie recipe yields about 35 delicious cookies. Store them in air tight containers for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Other Easy Cookie Recipes

1 Ideas for these sugar cookie recipes come from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett

2 Ideas for these sugar cookie recipes are from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion - The Essential Cookie Cookbook